The World Cup group stages have come to an end and only 16 teams remain in what promises to be one of the most open competitions in years. Defending champions Germany are the biggest team to have fallen at the group stages whilst home nation Russia still harbour the hopes of a nation in the last 16.
The usual smattering of big names are joined by some emerging teams in what looks to be a fascinating set of fixtures in the last 16.
Here are our picks for the last 16 fixtures at the 2018 World Cup:
2018 World Cup Round of 16 Predictions
12:00am France vs Argentina – Kazan Arena
One of the all-time World Cup last 16 clashes has been set up as France and Argentina face off in Kazan. France topped Group C with 7 points and with only one goal conceded, look to be well placed to make an assault on the competition whilst Argentina managed to overcome a tumultuous group stage campaign and only secured their place in the last 16 thanks to a 86th minute winner from Marcos Rojo. France topped Group C and are unbeaten at this year’s tournament – despite not offering the free-flowing football many expected prior to the competition starting. Wins over Peru and Australia were backed up with a gritty 0-0 draw with Denmark and they will be looking to carry on their momentum over the next couple of weeks. Argentina can count themselves a little fortunate to have reached the last 16, with 4 points from their opening 3 games and a media circus following them that has threatened to undermine their tournament. Following a draw with Iceland and a 3-0 thumping by Croatia, they looked to be heading home but Marcos Rojo’s winner against Nigeria – and other results going their way – enabled them to qualify. Argentina should be full of confidence after their dramatic qualification win over Nigeria but France are a very good side that should get the job done here.
Betting tip: France to win the match and both teams to score ($6) – BET NOW
France to win 2-1
4:00am Uruguay vs Portugal – Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Two sides with genuine hopes of winning the 2018 World Cup face-off in what should be a fascinating last 16 tie between Uruguay and Portugal. Uruguay topped Group A, registering 9 points in the process and their infamous defence wasn’t breached once in their opening 3 games whilst Portugal survived a scare against Iran in their final game to qualify in second place, behind Spain in Group B. Uruguay had a slow start to their World Cup campaign with attritional wins over Egypt and Saudi Arabia but they showed their class with an impressive 3-0 win over Russia last time out. Their team is built from the back and they have yet to concede at this year’s competition and look well placed to emulate their World Cup wins in 1930 and 1950. The 2016 European Champions survived a few scares to progress from Group B and look to have a tougher path to the final with their second placed finish.
Their opening day 3-3 draw with Spain was backed up with a gritty 1-0 win over Morocco and a 1-1 draw with Iran that was littered with controversy. This will be a very cagey game that could be the first at the 2018 World Cup to be decided by spot kicks.
Betting tip: Either side to win the match on penalties ($5.5) – BET NOW
12:00am Spain vs Russia – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Host nation Russia have made it through to the last 16 and they will be relishing the opportunity to take on 2010 World Champions Spain, who despite numerous off-field problems, managed to finish top of group B. It’s sure to be a very hostile atmosphere in Moscow for the Spaniards and as always with knockout football it promises to be a fascinating encounter. Spain’s tumultuous World Cup build up has been somewhat forgotten after their unbeaten start to the World Cup – topping group B with 5 points from their first 3 games. Fernando Hierro’s men had Iago Aspas to thank for their dramatic equaliser against Iran that saw them progress to the knockout rounds. Host nation Russia finished second in Group A after picking up 6 points from their opening 3 games – beating Saudi Arabia and Egypt but losing to Uruguay. Their performances have captured the hearts of a nation but they will have to bounce back from their 3-0 thumping at the hands of Uruguay quickly. Russia will cause Spain problems but the 2010 World Champions should come through this test comfortably.
Betting tip: Spain to win the match and both teams to score ($4.25) – BET NOW
Spain to win 3-1
4:00am Croatia vs Denmark – Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.
Two of the big hitters in European football face off in a fascinating last 16 match up in Nizhny Novgorod as Croatia put their 100% record on the line against Denmark. Croatia finished above the likes of Argentina and Nigeria to top Group D whilst Denmark showed real resolve to finish second in Group C behind France and are too unbeaten at this edition of the World Cup. Very few teams have impressed as much as Croatia so far in Russia – with their 100% record fully intact following a gritty 2-1 win over Iceland. They defeated Nigeria and Argentina in the group stages and look to have a solid squad around their elite midfielders. It has been an attritional watch at times but Denmark find themselves in the last 16 of the World Cup and will fancy their chances of progressing even further. The 1992 European Champions picked up 5 points from their 3 games, beating Peru before drawing with Australia and France. This could be a really cagey game that Croatia edge through due to their world-class midfielders that are used to performing on the biggest stage for the biggest teams.
Betting tip: Croatia to win the match to nil ($2.3) – BET NOW
Croatia to win 1-0
12:00am Brazil vs Mexico – Samara Arena.
After a slow start to the competition in Russia, pre-tournament favourites Brazil look to finally have got their tournament up and running and they topped Group E following back to back wins over Costa Rica and Serbia. They face off against Mexico, who were integral in knocking out defending champions Germany and ended up finishing second in Group F to qualify for the last 16. Tite’s men overcame their shaky start against Switzerland to comprehensively beat Costa Rica and Serbia and finish top of Group E with 7 points. They are seeking their 6th World Cup, having last won the competition in 2002 and with the attacking options they have, they look well placed to make an attack on the tournament. Mexico set the world alight with their opening game win over defending champions Germany, which they then backed up with an impressive 2-1 win over South Korea. They will be looking to bounce back from defeat from Sweden last time out here and will have to be at their very best to trouble Brazil here. This should be a very open game, between two attacking sides who look to play on the front foot and Brazil should come through this tricky tie.
Betting tip: Brazil to win the match and both teams to score ($3.5) – BET NOW
Brazil to win 2-1
4:00am Belgium vs Japan – Rostov Arena.
Group G winners Belgium put their 100% record on the line as they take on Japan in an intriguing last 16 World Cup encounter. Belgium beat Panama, Tunisia and England to sit top of the group whilst Japan became the first ever team in World Cup history to qualify for the last 16 by virtue of having a better fair play record than Senegal. Roberto Martinez has impressed in charge of Belgium and they’ve enjoyed a perfect start to the 2018 World Cup. Having topped Group G, Belgium are in the same half as the likes of Brazil and Argentina in the draw and will have to be at their best to go all the way. Japan picked up 4 points from their opening 3 World Cup games, beating Colombia, drawing with Senegal and losing to Poland. They finished second in Group H, ahead of Senegal by their better disciplinary record and have reached the last 16 for the first time since 2010. Belgium are well organised and are flying high confidence wise and should put Japan to the sword here.
Betting tip: Belgium to win the match to nil ($2.1) – BET NOW
Belgium to win 2-0
12:00am Sweden vs Switzerland – Saint Petersburg Stadium.
Two of the surprise packages at this year’s World Cup face off in an intriguing all-European last 16 encounter. Sweden topped Group F ahead of the likes of Germany and Mexico whilst Switzerland had an unbeaten group phase to finish second in Group E behind tournament favourites Brazil. This could be an attritional tie between two very well-organised sides that will both fancy their chances here. Despite being relatively unfancied at the start of the tournament, Sweden finished top of Group F with 6 points from their opening 3 games. Their comfortable wins over South Korea and Mexico were punctuated with a last-gasp defeat at the hands of Germany that ultimately proved insignificant. Switzerland finished second Group E, with a win and 2 draws from their opening 3 games in an impressive and unbeaten start. An opening day draw with Brazil was backed up with a last gasp winner over Serbia before a last gasp equaliser from Costa Rica consigned them to second place in the group. This is a huge game for both sides and the enormity of it could mean it goes all the way to penalties and is decided by the lottery of spot-kicks.
Betting tip: Either side to win the match on penalties ($5) – BET NOW
4:00am Colombia vs England – Spartak Stadium, Moscow.
England’s World Cup campaign continues as they take on Colombia in an intriguing encounter between two very different sides. Colombia bounced back from their opening day defeat to Japan to beat Poland and Senegal to finish top of Group H with 6 points. Both of these sides have aspirations of progressing through to the latter stages of the competition and this should be a real hum-dinger of a match. Colombia showed incredible resolve to bounce back from losing to Japan and finish top of Group H and qualify for the last 16. Having reached the last 8 in 2014, this is very much the golden generation of Colombian football and they look here to stay at the elite of international football. Gareth Southgate’s men beat Tunisia and Panama in Group G but their defeat to Belgium looks to have checked their progress somewhat. They have reached the last 16 for the first time since 2010 and will be looking to reach the last 8 for the first time since 2006. This could be a nail-biter between two well organised sides and it could come down to spot-kicks.
Betting tip: The match to finish as a draw and both teams to score ($5.75) – BET NOW
World Cup Round of 16 Multi Bet
We’re backing five results in the last 16 as a five-fold with a betting stake of $50:-
Brazil vs Mexico – Brazil to win
France vs Argentina – France to win
Spain vs Russia – Spain to win
Belgium vs Japan – Belgium to win
Croatia vs Denmark – Croatia to win
Pays $16.28 for all to win – BET NOW
A $50 wager would pay out $814 if successful at the current odds.